Heirloom. It is the standard Bell pepper. Most people have eaten a Cali Wonder at some time during their lives. It is one of the top producing sweet peppers for home gardeners. It is easy to grow and adaptable to many types of soil. California wonder grows very well in containers and is a good choice for beginner gardeners. It is resistant to a number of diseases, including the Tobacco Mosaic Virus.
Dr E. Sturtevant cites Lionel Wafer, who in 1699 mentions Bell-pepper as growing in the Isthmus of America. He also cited Edward Long in 1744 that mentions, amongst others, Bell peppers as one of the most common Capsicum in Jamaica. Thomas Jefferson, unmistakably refers to a bell pepper, seeds of which were sent from Mexico in 1824. Thereafter in 1828, California Wonder, the first smooth and blocky thick walled pepper to be known as a bell pepper was released by California Grower C.C. Marse, and grown commercially. Since then it has remained the standard bell pepper, and one of the top producing sweet peppers for home and commercial gardeners today. It is also the parent of several outstanding cultivars.
California Wonder is a culinary delight and very versatile. The sweetness and crisp, thick walls of this pepper makes it ideal for eating raw in salads or salsa. Also great for grilling, stir-fries, pickling, stews, casseroles, pizzas, and especially great for stuffing. Also freezes very well.
California Wonder is low in calories and rich in vitamins: half a cup of chopped fruit provides 75 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C when green and double that amount when allowed to grow to full, red maturity. Red peppers also contain 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A, as well as both folic acid and vitamin B6.
Start in trays. Seeds may take up to 21 days to germinate. Requires full sun and well-drained soil rich in organic matter, which is slightly acidic. Avoid too much nitrogen as this will cause lots of leave growth at the expense of flowers and fruit. Rather use fertiliser high in potassium and phosphate. Picking small peppers and flowers early in the season often provides a longer, more prolific harvest. The tall plants might require support to keep heavy yields of the ground. About 70 days to Green and 90 days to Red maturity after transplanting.
Coastal Areas: Aug-Oct
Inland Areas: Aug-Nov
Subtropical Areas: Jan-Apr, Jul-Oct
Approximately 25 Seeds